Up to now, it looked like Archer's Shall We Tell the President? (p. 796) was a shoe-in for Most Deplorable White House Novel...

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ACTS OF MERCY

Up to now, it looked like Archer's Shall We Tell the President? (p. 796) was a shoe-in for Most Deplorable White House Novel of the Year. But Messrs. Pronzini and Malzberg are going to give Archer a run for the money with this pulpy drivel about Pres. Nicholas Augustine, who's ""losing credibility faster than any president in history, including Nixon."" Not only is Augustine blundering on Israelis abroad and Indians at home, but he's a loser with First Lady Claire too (lots about presidential erections and wet dreams), so his party decides to dump him. And then an unnamed White House psycho, who refers to himself as ""we"" in his hot-breath slivers of first-person narrative, starts using a heavy ashtray to kill off the President's enemies (""this viper in the President's bosom"")--in Washington, on the President's special train, at the West Coast White House. Or does he? Mystery-man Pronzini probably would call the astoundingly atrocious psycho-idiotic resolution here something akin to ""acroidal,"" as in Roger Ackroyd. It's not. It's amateurish and headache-inducing, and we will all perform an Act of Mercy by forgetting it ever happened.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 1977

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1977